ret·​ro·​gres·​sion | \ ˌre-trə-ˈgre-shən How to pronounce retrogression (audio) \

Definition of retrogression

2 : return to a former and less complex level of development or organization

Synonyms & Antonyms for retrogression



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of retrogression in a Sentence

social instability that has led to a retrogression of moral values and standards of decent behavior
Recent Examples on the Web Progressives de nos jours seem inordinately attached to retrogression. Kyle Smith, National Review, 8 June 2021 What explains the wide perception of racial retrogression at a time when surveys show that racial attitudes and behaviors have never been better? Jason L. Riley, WSJ, 27 Apr. 2021 For Fantom, his card showed nines of 40 and 39 for his 79, but his win wasn’t official until through retrogression, his score on the eighth handicap hole, was a stroke better better than that of Patterson Mill’s Brandon Palen, who also shot 79. Randy Mcroberts,, 24 Oct. 2020 This duplicity is, as the museum called it, part of the American paradox: a museum that represents both stagnancy and change, advancement and retrogression, black America and the rest. Maya Phillips, The New Yorker, 24 Oct. 2019 Such were the devolutions and betrayals in those days, and retrogressions to the ways of shame. Lance Morrow, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2018 The plan will avoid retrogression in the position of racial minorities and language minorities as defined in the Voting Rights Act with respect to their effective exercise of the electoral franchise. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, 14 June 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'retrogression.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of retrogression

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About retrogression

Time Traveler for retrogression

Time Traveler

The first known use of retrogression was in 1604

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near retrogression




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for retrogression

Cite this Entry

“Retrogression.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for retrogression


ret·​ro·​gres·​sion | \ ˌre-trə-ˈgresh-ən How to pronounce retrogression (audio) \

Medical Definition of retrogression

: a reversal in development or condition: as
a : return to a former and less complex level of development or organization
b : subsidence or decline of symptoms or manifestations of a disease


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!